Cecily’s Hoods



Bethan Pinnock

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

I have been inspired by Cynthia Harnett’s wonderful historical children’s story based in medieval England 1492 called ‘The Wool Pack’. In this story Cecily Bradshaw, the daughter of a lady of rank and a wealthy clothier, is betrothed to Nicholas Fetterlock, the son of a wealthy wool merchant of the Staple. The story references her wearing a hood saying ‘Cecily tossed back her hood and laughed. “Might they not go and look at the fair ground” she begged’ but there are no details given as to its exact description. Cecily being of the rank and wealth she is, it can be assumed she would posses and wear various hoods for different seasons and occasions; short, long, fur lined/trimmed and buttoned up the front, as this was very much the style of the time for women’s hoods, as well as using the finest fabrics given her father’s profession. It is also indicated in the story that it is quite probable fur would be readily available as both Cecily and her father are depicted as loving to hunt. I have therefore taken inspiration from this idea and looked at images/analysis of extant examples as well as medieval paintings to create a series of different possibilities for Cecily to wear!

Outline the construction…

First of all I designed/drafted the pattern, referencing analysis, diagrams and images of period extant examples. I referred to a website that had detailed images and drawings of hoods from Greenland, and excavations in London, providing original sizing and details. With the pattern drafted, I then used this information during construction to add details such as buttonhole placement, buttons and a liripipe to my garments.
One of the biggest challenges was sewing in the gores, as the points were tricky to persuade to lie flat without puckering. I overcame this by narrowing the seam allowance at the point, making the sharp angle more comfortable for the fabric. The buttonholes on the two that are fur lined were tricky too as the fur constantly tangled in the thread, often looking like a knotted, furry mess. I overcame this with careful trimming back of the fur around the slit before hand-buttonhole stitching and using my needle to carefully stroke fur away from the stitches. I also doubled my thread, making it thicker/more manageable.
I handmade the buttons by gathering around the circumference of a circle of the fabric twice to form a button. I also had to piece the liripipe as I was short on fabric. It wasn’t planned however I like the resulting effect and it adds to the authenticity of it as it is precisely what they would have done in medieval times rather than be wasteful of the leftover fabric scraps, as fabric was a luxury and very expensive.




  1. Avatar Susanna Antonsson on March 13, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Wonderful goods. Well done, overcoming the buttonholes and fur.

  2. Avatar Leora Wambach on March 15, 2021 at 4:14 am

    They all look so cozy and soft! I want them for LARP!!

  3. Avatar Manon L'Hostis on March 15, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    Wonderful button holes! Your cape looks lovely and so comfy♡

  4. Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 24, 2021 at 1:32 am

    I like the piecing that you had to do for the liripipe. Funny sometimes how something that starts out as a problem, turns into a unique and interesting element of the final design. Nicely done!

  5. Avatar Kikkii von Fustian on March 29, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    It’s all beautifully made <3 Working with fur can be quite tricky, well done!

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